As a general rule, if a spell caster is observing the world through their familiar, do they lose their skill proficiencies or are they supplemented by the familiar?

As a specific example:

I have a Warlock, Pact of the Chain, and have an imp for my familiar. The character has the proficiency of "Deception". But the imp grants me "Insight" and "Persuasion".

My plan was to have the imp sit invisibly on my shoulder so even though I am using its eyes and ears, it is still close enough that I could hold a conversation (Think of it like listening to a translator over headphones).

If I'm in imp vision mode, can I still gain the benefit of its "Insight" skill along with my personal "Deception" skill?

Most situations I've read about assume the caster is sitting still or being guided by an ally while the familiar is far away. But couldn't the character learn to adapt having their eyes and ears moved to their shoulder?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Try to ask one question. You have one question in your title, and 3 in the body. The last 2 questions contradict the one in your title. Be clear what you are asking. \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 7:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: Perception checks through a familiar's eyes \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 7:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ As an aside, nothing in the warlock class gives you Insight and Persuasion. Where are you getting these from? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 22:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreenstoneWalker If you are a half elf, you get two more skill proficiencies at chargen; see also various backgrounds that offer such skills ... and there is an eldritch invocation that gives proficiency in both deception and persuasion. Beguiling Influence \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that your question, since you are applying the unique familiar feature of a warlock, needs to be more clearly about warlock. The pact of the Chain familiar ability is a bit more powerful than generic find familiar for other spell casters. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


You can't use your familiar's skill proficiency as your own, but you still get to use your own

The text doesn't specify that you can use its skills, therefore you can't. It also doesn't specify that you lose your own, so you keep using them. You're just looking at the world from a different set of eyes, Although if the Imp has dark vision or similar ability you would be able to use them.

While your familiar is within 100 feet of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. Additionally, as an action, you can see through your familiar's eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn, gaining the benefits of any Special Senses that the familiar has. During this time, you are deaf and blind with regard to your own Senses.

However you can communicate with it telepathically, so assuming the Imp can understand the person you're talking to the Imp could use it's insight and let you know what it thinks. Whether it could help you with persuasion would be up to your DM.


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